Fish merchants and chips and fish merchants sell unsafe sea dogs to the unconscious public, claim researchers using DNA bar coding to identify the types they are selling.
Most fish chips that are sold under generic names, such as geese, rocks, flakes and salmon, have been shown to be a reindeer shark, a species of seabird that the International Union for the Conservation of the Red List of Nature proclaimed endangered in Europe.
Researchers from the University of Exeter have also found the fins of marine dogs unconsciously sold by a British wholesaler, including rounded hammerheads that are globally endangered, as well as short mako and smalleyes of sea dogs.
Other species sold in fishermen and chips and fish marketers included starry smooth dogs, nurses, and blue sea dogs.
It was illegal to hunt the reindeer sea dog in the EU by 2011, but now it is allowed to fish as an attachment – when it is grown in networks targeting other species.
The government allows many species of shark to be sold under long-established generic names such as rocks, but researchers call for more accurate labeling of food – with clearly identified fish at the point of sale to consumers – so that people know what kind of food they eat and where it came from.
"Consumers are almost impossible to know what they are buying," said Catherine Hobbs of Exeter University and the first author of the article published in scientific reports. "People might think they are getting a sustainable resource product when they actually buy the endangered species.
"There are also health problems. Knowing what types of purchases can be important in terms of allergies, toxins, live content, and growing concerns about micro-sandworms in the marine food chain.
The chips are more difficult to mark because they are removed as soon as the sharks are caught, but Hobbs says there is still a problem with "certain fishermen who do not abide by the labeling law" when the fish comes to an end.
"The discovery of vulnerable hammers with hammers highlights how widespread sales of decaying species really reach Europe and the UK," said Dr. Andrew Griffiths, also from the University of Exeter. "Hammer with hammer can be imported under strict conditions, but the wholesaler had no idea what kind of perjah belongs to."
The study analyzed 78 specimens from chip stores and 39 fishery samples, mainly in southern England, as well as 10 perks from a wholesaler selling them to restaurants and specialized supermarkets.